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April F. (aprillynn) - Reviews

21 to 40 of 75 - Page:
The Dinner List
The Dinner List
Author: Rebecca Serle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/23/2019


After a slow build, the ending had me wiping tears from my eyes. Such a powerful story about those who we treasure in life and what their impact means to our past, present and future. Sabrina is out on her birthday dinner, the guest list includes 5 people of her choosing that invite - dead or alive (a question we should all ask ourselves). While we don't know the details of Sabrina's 5 people up front, it's a developing knowledge we obtain with the turn of each page. I really enjoyed the short chapters and the character development as it pertains to Sabrina's relationship with her 5 dinner guests.
This book provides such a deep insight, it will have you wondering who your "top 5" would be and most importantly, why?


Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 6/26/2023


A quick audiobook listen (5 hours) in Dolly's thick southern accent and infectiously happy personality on how she got inspiration to write her 3k+ songs (I did not know she wrote that many) and it seems that all of them are her "favorite" :)
This audiobook was more in an interview format, Dolly talks a bit too fast at times for my midwestern ears to understand and her music is a bit too twangy for me, but I just love her bubbly personality and good heart!


Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel
Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel
Author: Linda Holmes
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 8/23/2022


3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. A slow burn, but I enjoyed the writing, character dialogue and storyline. When I heard the main character's name was Eveleth, I thought immediately of the city in Minnesota - later revelation is that's what she was named after! I especially loved the Minnesota references in this book. I listened to this on audiobook and Julia Whelan always does a fantastic narration.


The Familiar Dark: A Novel
The Familiar Dark: A Novel
Author: Amy Engel
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 10/9/2020


A dark and disturbing novel about the double murder of two young girls in the fictional town of Barren Springs, Missouri. Eve Taggert is a young mom out for vengeance after the murder of her 12 year old daughter, Junie, and her best friend, Izzy. She will stop at nothing to find the truth in her poverty stricken small town, even if it means visiting her past in the drug ridden hillsides full of childhood nightmares. Full of disturbing twists and dark truths, this one will have you flipping the pages.


Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl
Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl
Author: Renee Rosen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/1/2023


3.5 stars, I enjoyed the audiobook, but recommend reading the book if you want the author's note at the end with added input on her research into Estee Lauder. I didn't realize how hard she peddled to become the cosmetic company they are today, I admire her for her efforts in a time women had little luck of success in the workplace.
Gloria and Estee weren't the most likable characters and I got tired of hearing about the "Super Rich All Purpose Cream."
It was interesting to learn Estee is the reason behind all the 'Gifts with Purchase' we see today at the cosmetic counter.


The Frozen River
The Frozen River
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 1/10/2024


I've read several books this year based on women that history has failed to remember, midwife Martha Ballard has been added to that list. This is a must read!


A Girl Called Samson
A Girl Called Samson
Author: Amy Harmon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 3/22/2023
Helpful Score: 1


"It is not for the man who has everything and wants more that we fight, but for the man who has nothing."
Who else had NO idea a woman fought in the Revolutionary War?! Based on actual events, A Girl Called Samson is a historical fiction novel following Deborah Samson's brave 18 month stint as Robert Shurtliff, a solider in the Continental Army fighting for Independence. I learned so much about other brave Revolutionary heroes (General John Patterson, Agrippa Hull, Dr. Binney, Dr. Thatcher). As Amy Harmon states in her Author's Note, History has not done her justice.


The Girl in His Shadow
The Girl in His Shadow
Author: Audrey Blake
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 9/15/2022


I'm so glad this was a Big Library Read , it was a phenomenal audiobook, I really enjoyed it and already put the next book on my waitlist.


The Girl With the Louding Voice
The Girl With the Louding Voice
Author: Abi Dare
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 9/28/2020
Helpful Score: 2


An eye-opening account of how uneducated women in Nigeria survive; I read this in a weekend and could not put it down. My heart broke for the main character, Adunni, as she battled all her struggles and pain. You can't help but admire her strength, intelligence and determination to not give up. This book is a must read.


The Girls at 17 Swann Street
The Girls at 17 Swann Street
Author: Yara Zgheib
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 8/20/2019


3.5 stars rounded to 4! Extraordinary debut novel by Yara Zgheib brings us into the mind of Anna Roux who suffers from anorexia and an intimate view of how the disease affects the mental health of millions of people.
While the story was an accurate portrayal of the workings of mental health, I felt at times the writing was choppy and the use of italics often times confusing. I would have liked a more thorough development of the supporting characters. Who was Philippe? I understood him to be Anna's dance instructor, but was there a past romance? Especially because I felt he played a major role in the development of Anna's disease.
Also, can I just say -- we all deserve a Matthias!


The Heart Keeper
The Heart Keeper
Author: Alex Dahl
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/20/2019


Wow! Alex Dahl has found a way to put into words the intense emotions of grief, anger, pain, guilt and numbness that comes with losing a loved one. I literally felt every word of this book to the point that I had to stop reading and take a few deep breaths. Particularly the fact that I am dealing with the loss of a loved one and the manner and date of death was too similar. While my loved one was not able to donate organs, this story focuses on a mother dealing with the loss of a young daughter (trigger) and pours her intense grief into what remains of her daughter through her organ donation and the recipient of her heart - another young girl.

At times I found myself frustrated with the main character, Alison, and her inability to pull herself together and find the helps she needs. I just wanted her to find peace, comfort and people to support her.

This book will pull at your heart strings and you will feel the gut wrenching pain associated with grief. I enjoyed the book, even if it was hard for me to read.

Donate Life.

I was the lucky winner of a Goodreads Giveaway - receiving a complimentary copy did not impact my review.


In a Holidaze
In a Holidaze
Author: Christina Lauren
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 1/15/2021


Just an okay holiday love story. The plot was clunky, there was a lack of character development with an unrealistic Groundhog Day scenario that was never explained which made for a confusing and rushed conclusion.


Keeping Lucy
Keeping Lucy
Author: T. Greenwood
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 11/7/2019


The subject matter of this novel had so much potential but unfortunately fell short for me.
It's the 1970's and Ginny Richardson gives birth to her 2nd child, a daughter named Lucy, who was born with Down syndrome. Lucy is taken away to a "school" as Ginny is under heavy sedation by the recommendation of her FIL, who also happens to be a rich lawyer and sees Lucy as a "tarnish" to the family image.
Fast forward 2 years and Ginny decides to visit Lucy after her friend informs her of a newspaper investigation into the horrendous treatment of the patients (toilet drinking, worms, lice, serious atrocities). Ginny decides to go on the run with Lucy, her friend Marsha and young son, Peyton.
The story wraps up with a semi-happy ending and not much substance in-between. I found the plot to be a little absurd in behavior and lack of insight to the facility which could have been an opportunity to educate readers on some history.


The Last House on the Street (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 3/22/2023


Told in dual timelines by 2 different characters (1965 - Ellie & 2010 - Kayla) this novel covers the Civil Rights movement with a lasting mystery element in 2010. The ending broke my heart.
I loved the narration of this book and was happy to see Susan Bennett is the narrator for several Diane Chamberlain books! On to the next.


The Lies That Bind
The Lies That Bind
Author: Emily Giffin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 11/9/2020
Helpful Score: 1


What did I just read? Typical EG novel, entertaining enough to keep you flipping the pages - but that conclusion? No. The book uses 9/11 as a plot line, but it's far from being about the emotion of September 11th and ended up being more of a Jerry Springer (even referenced in the book) story. Far fetched, disrespectful and unsatisfying ending.


The Look-Alike: A Novel
The Look-Alike: A Novel
Author: Erica Spindler
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/11/2022


While I slogged through this one (too many references to a crazy mother and am I delusional main character), it definitely kept me intrigued enough to finish to figure out the whodunnit . When you finally find out, the ending was over the top.


The Lost Manuscript
The Lost Manuscript
Author: Cathy Bonidan, Emma Ramadan (Translator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 1/11/2022


An epistolary novel with a neat concept of a lost manuscript bringing together a hodgepodge of random people who have read it over 20 years as it was left it behind in different places across Europe. There were so many characters and the letters were too flowery and wordy making it hard for me to be invested in the plot because there was so much "fluff." I do think this would be a great movie.


The Love Season
The Love Season
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 9/26/2022


I am on an Elin Hilderbrand reading spree and The Love Season was not my favorite of hers. However, I really liked the audio narrator Christina Delaine and will definitely check out other books she has narrated.

In typical Elin Hilderbrand fashion, the novel takes place in Nantucket with a lot of food descriptions, a few love stories and a couple of cheating partners. I didn't like the ending, it was abrupt and didn't really conclude the story.


Marmee: A Novel
Marmee: A Novel
Author: Sarah Miller
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 3/22/2023


All the stars; Highly recommend in audio, the narrator is the perfect voice for Marmee. So very well written. The ending had me in tears. A must read for Little Women fans!


Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune
Author: Roselle Lim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 1/11/2022
Helpful Score: 1


2.3 stars. If you like to cook, there are A LOT of recipes in this book - and this book is DESCRIPTIVE from the food, to the sounds, to the locations, it was excessive. Mostly, I found this story to be a bit over the top and couldn't wait for it to finish. Natalie falls in love after Daniel eats her dumplings, the twist about her dad at the end, the magic of the recipes - it was more fantasy than I was expecting. There is a good overall message about community


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